Franklin community says goodbye to a local hero

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FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) – A memorial service in Franklin remembered 17-year old Jason Moran Wednesday evening, one of two friends to lose their lives, after jumping into the Big Blue River to save another friend.

Since the tragedy Friday, the community has come together to show support, and Wednesday night was no exception.

Friends, family, and those who didn’t know Moran came to the high school for a visitation, then a memorial service. The parking lot was full; even DNR conservation officers, the unit that helped to find Moran, attended the memorial.

They heard from the mayor, about how this tragedy has affected everyone.

“A lot of love, a lot of hugs, a lot of tears, and a lot of memories,” said one person coming out of the visitation.

Jason’s obituary remembers him as a dedicated and passionate athlete. The football team wore their jerseys in honor of their teammates, Moran, and 16-year-old Michael Chadbourne, who also lost his life.

After the memorial service, the community released blue and white balloons in their memory.

“These kids are heroes,” said one mom.

“Caring enough to jump in after one of your friends, not a lot of people would have done that,” said a high school junior.

“Grab your children, grab the ones you love. Put your arms around them and tell them how much you love them.”

“There’s a lot of love in this town, and we just pray for all the families involved, and we’re going to keep praying and keep hugging, and keep telling them we love them,” said another attendee.

Sarah McLevish remains in critical condition at the hospital.

We also learned Wednesday, that Michael Chadbourne was able to donate eight organs. That’s the most organs, besides tissue, anyone can donate. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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